Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut gets bail in Patra Chawl scam
A Mumbai court on Wednesday granted bail to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in a money laundering case linked to the Patra Chawl land scam, ANI reported. Last week, special judge MG Deshpande had reserved the order after hearing arguments from both sides. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested him in July in a Rs. 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case.
Why does this story matter?
- The ED crackdown on Raut—a Sena troubleshooter—was seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the BJP.
- His arrest came a month after Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was toppled and rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the CM with the support of rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP.
- He was arrested following a raid at his Mumbai home.
Raut claims 'abuse of power' in bail application
Currently, Raut is being held in judicial custody at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. He had argued in favor of bail claiming the charges against him were a prime example of "abuse of power" and "political vendetta." Notably, the ED had objected to his plea, alleging that it found major involvement of Raut in the Patra Chawl redevelopment case involving money laundering.
Raut had claimed money was legal
After being arrested on July 31, Sanjay Raut spent eight days in ED's custody, following which he was sent to judicial custody. He appealed for bail on September 7 claiming that the ruling party used the ED to trample dissidents. He asserted that the amount of Rs. 1.06 crore which the ED claimed as proceeds of crime was legal and accounted for.
What is the Patra Chawl case?
Patra Chawl Patra is another name for Siddharth Nagar. It's in Goregaon, North Mumbai, and it has 672 homes on 47 acres. The Maharashtra Housing and Region Development Authority (MHADA) launched its rehabilitation project in 2008, granting the contract to Pravin Raut's company Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL) to rehabilitate 672 households and restore the neighborhood which later came under scanner.
Charges by ED against Raut
The ED stated that Pravin Raut, Sanjay Raut's close aide, and other GACPL directors defrauded MHADA by unlawfully selling units meant for 672 residents. Following this, GACPL established Meadows and took a booking amount of about Rs. 138 crores from flat purchasers, according to which the ED alleges the company gained Rs. 1,034 crore from these illegal actions.